Poet Laureate Shawn Welcome to Speak at Valencia’s Writers Festival

Orlando, FL – Orlando’s poet laureate, Shawn Welcome, will be the featured speaker at the Ilyse Kusnetz Writing Festival at Valencia College on March 3.

Welcome, who spent most of his childhood in Orlando, moved to New York City while in high school and began exploring the world of hip hop. When he returned to Florida, as a student at Valencia College, he discovered the power of performance poetry. He soon began performing at spoken-word events and slam poetry events – and started a program teaching poetry to incarcerated and at-risk youth.

Today, Welcome is a graduate student at the University of Central Florida and the city’s poet laureate.

Welcome will be among the writers reading their work at the festival, which will be a hybrid event, held both in-person and on Zoom. Originally known as the Winter Park Writer’s Festival, the festival has been renamed in honor of the late Valencia College writing professor and award-winning poet Ilyse Kusnetz.

Students, faculty, staff, and the community are invited to submit writing to be included in the live online and in-person festival. Festival organizers will accept all kinds of word-based art, including prose, poetry, audio recordings, video performances, and visual arts. While the festival accepts writing of all kinds, we ask that you consider this year’s theme: reACTION. More information about the theme and the festival can be found at https://ilysekusnetzwritingfest.com/

Interested writers should email any questions and submissions to Valencia College professor Chris Brown at cbrown214@valenciacollege.edu.

What: The Ilyse Kusnetz Writing Festival

When: March 3, 2022, at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Valencia College Winter Park Campus, 850 W. Morse Boulevard, Winter Park, Fla. Room

Also on Zoom: https://valenciacollege.zoom.us/j/96351460670#success

Cost: Free